Tent Showcase: Vango Airbeam Kinetic 500
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8.75/10 from 4 reviews
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4 Reviews of the Airbeam Kinetic 500
By: Gwing Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 22/09/2012
Summary - its very expensive but a nice overall package. The airbeams worked really well and made the tent unbelievably easy and quick to put up and take down.
I've had many tents over the years, mainly small mountain tents, and hence am used to the generally much higher build quality you find on these compared to large family tents. This is the first large good quality tent I've bought and I am very pleased with it.
The tent is large,spacious and pleasant to live in due to the large window area. We also have the extension as I was fortunate enough to get one ridiculously cheaply but on our first fortnight's use found there was sufficient space in the tent to do without it, this was for just the two of us and a dog though so it was a bit like rattling around in a palace for us.
Inflating the airbeams to indicated pressure was very easy as the pump now comes with big clear red and green sectors rather than numbers. We actually gave the beams a tough test as the tent was pitched in the south of France and had to cope with big temperature changes between blistering hot days and cold nights. Even though this resulted in substantial pressure changes within the airbeams they worked extremely well across that wide pressure range, it really doesn't seem to critical at all - just make sure they aren't over pressurised at the hottest point of the day and leave them to get on with it. I did just top them up a little as a precaution once when the Mistral was blowing hard and we had storms forecast for the night, but they seem to hold their pressure well and don't need constant topping up.
I haven't subjected the tent to prolonged English weather yet but it stood up to strong winds and short duration extremely heavy storm rains very well - no leaks at all and the tent was remarkably stable with no fear of poles breaking of course.
Vango, if you are listening, the one improvement I would make would be to increase available airflow through the inner tent section of the tent. It isn't bad, in fact it may be better than most tents for this, but it still could be improved. One particularly stuffy night we tried sleeping in the outer tent with the doors open and just the mesh liners sealed to keep the biters out and that was rather lovely under the stars. Obviously this isn't a problem in UK use :-)
On the more trivial side the tent is well thought out for living with plenty of unobtrusive little doodahs and features to keep you amused and make life a little more comfortable. They've done a good job on this one.
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By: Mummywhisperer Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 13/07/2012
We've just been on our first trip to a family music festival and first trip camping and took the air beam with us.
I'm so chuffed we did, as it's the perfect tent for a young family, as the time it takes to pack up the tent is long enough and we would have been in huge trouble with a tent that took longer.
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By: Kathcake Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2011 Rating: Date: 19/02/2012
I absolutely love this tent. IT was really roomy for my family of four and there was so much room to put a bed down for all of us.
Unlike tents i've been in in the past I didn't feel any leaks and it certainly rained a day or two. The tent was also quite airtight but there was the occasional bit of wind blowing into the tent.
Would definitely recommend!
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By: Ickle_ali Reason: I own(ed) one Made in: 2012 Rating: Date: 15/02/2012
We were lucky to be chosen by Vango to trial run this new 2012 model before it went on general sale. The tent at this moment in time is only available for pre orders and should be released for sale in the next month or two.
Vango Airbeam Kinetic 500
Weather: Dry but windy, daytime approx 16 C, night time approx 9 C
First notable thing was the bag which the tent came in. More like a holdall with wheels and very roomy.
Very impressed with the speed and ease it went up; in fact I actually think this is the first time my husband and I have put up a tent without arguing or falling out! From removing it from the bag to putting the last peg in the ground took 15 mins.
Liked the fact that the bedroom pod was already in the tent when we put it up, again saving time when we put it up.
Standing back looking at the tent it was of good size and shape and was actually surprised at the amount of space for a 5 man tent.
The tent was finished well and all seams etc looked to be in good order.
The 7 windows in the living area let in a lot of light. One particular feature I was very impressed with was the zipped covers on the larger 3 windows. When unzipping the ‘curtains’ you did this from the top down meant that you could open them as much or as little as you liked. In our other Vango (Vista 800)the ‘curtains’ are rolled up meaning they were either fully up or fully down. So the Kinetic does win hands down on that point.
We did experience quite gusty conditions at periods over our stay and the actual tent with it’s airbeams, felt much sturdier than that of one with conventional fibreglass poles.
The black plastic tension ‘thingies’ on the guy lines are much improved from our other Vango and seemed to hold better and despite the windy conditions needed very little attention over our stay.
Black net fly doors were a much welcomed addition.
The curved plastic tubes threaded on to the zip pulls just made it that little bit easier to pull the zips up and down as opposed to just cord alone zip pulls.
Just as it was speedy putting the tent up, taking the tent down was also incredibly easy and as the holdall for the tent was of a good size the tent went back in without any problems and this was with the bedroom pod still in the tent. Oh and there was still more than enough room for the air pump too.
One of our major concerns was inflating the tent to 3psi. We were very wary as from reviews I had read on the 2011 models people had inadvertently over inflated the tubes causing them to burst or explode. We really did struggle a little when trying to gauge if we had put enough air in or indeed not enough as the psi indicator went up in very small increments and was difficult to read. I would suggest for future reference if at all possible Vango provided an indicator which was a little clearer.
Despite our minor 'dislike' the ‘likes’ far outweighed these. Reading reviews from the 2011 range there seemed to be a few complaints of the zips catching, I have to say that we didn’t experience this problem once.
Would I buy this tent now having had the opportunity to try it out? Yes and I am now considering purchasing the extension for it. It is a little pricey at £250 rrp, but as we got the tent for free in return for trialing it over the winter months I feel I can justify this. I would say though if I was purchasing the tent myself I would have opted for the next model up and possibly saved the need for the extension.
Would I recommend this tent to someone else? Yes, in fact I’ve already been raving about it to camping friends!
I hope I have given some good qualitative feedback on our experience, but if there is anything in particular you would like to know then please do come back to me.
15 from 15 people found this review helpful, was it helpful to you?
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The Kinetic offers standing head height for those seeking a spacious option for weekend or short stay breaks. The light and airy feel of this tent and the well proportioned bedroom space ensure maximum appeal.
VANGO AIRBEAM® TECHNOLOGY
All in one or flysheet first pitching
Easy Pitch Tunnel Style
TBS®II - Tension Band System
Protex® 6,000HH polyester embossed 75D flysheet
Sewn in polyester groundsheet
Lightweight inner tent groundsheet
NEW larger windows
NEW privacy curtains
Fully wind & rain tested
Vango AirZone ventilation
Flexible detachable inner divider
2 mesh doors
Part mesh inner door
Supplied with Pump
... there may be more info on their website
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